Demolition Derby


Brian came to Austin to visit a few weeks ago! It had been more than a year since he was in Texas, so we didn’t waste much time getting right into the country spirit. This trip, that meant a demolition derby.

demo-derby-in-action

In case you weren’t aware, a demolition derby is an event where people fix up old cars to make them more structurally stable and then slam them into each other until only one is left running. But don’t worry, the drivers wear helmets.

It was hosted by a volunteer fire department in a town about 20 minutes west of Austin. It’s an annual event that attracts a crowd, from the look of it. Brian and I decided that the atmosphere took us back to our small-town roots.

A group of students that I work with went and hung out by some pick-up trucks parked just up the hill from where the action was. After watching from up there for a while, Brian and I decided to get closer to the main event, so we headed down to the ring where the cars were battling it out.

demo-derby-contenders

Being only a few feet from cars slamming into each other was intense. All the kids there were glued to the fence around the ring so they could be up close and personal with all the destruction.

In between rounds, firetrucks hosed down the area, probably to wash away any spilled oil and gas that might cause a hazard during the next round. There were several heats and then a championship round at the end of the night.

demo-derby-fire-truck

Demolition derbies are basically judged by which cars are left standing at the end. I’m not entirely sure of the details beyond that, but there were some very serious judges doing a lot of scribbling so there must be some other rules involved. At the end of each round, tractors tow away the cars that are no longer running.

demo-derby-tractor-clear

The event was a lot of fun and it was nice to get out of the city for a night. We followed it up with late-night wings and football. A great way to celebrate being in Texas, even if the Longhorns suffered an embarrassing defeat.

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